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Volume 2012, Article ID 723678, 17 pages
Review Article

Clinical Pharmacology in Old Persons

Expertise Centre Pharmacotherapy in Old Persons, University Medical Centre Utrecht, B05.256, P.O. Box 85500, 3508 GA Utrecht, The Netherlands

Received 23 May 2012; Accepted 28 June 2012

Academic Editors: E. P. Cherniack, A. M. Kamper, and A. Martorana

Copyright © 2012 Paul A. F. Jansen and Jacobus R. B. J. Brouwers. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The epidemiological transition, with a rapid increase in the proportion in the global population aged over 65 years from 11% in 2010 to 22% in 2050 and 32% in 2100, represents a challenge for public health. More and more old persons have multimorbidities and are treated with a large number of medicines. In advanced age, the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of many drugs are altered. In addition, pharmacotherapy may be complicated by difficulties with obtaining drugs or adherence and persistence with drug regimens. Safe and effective pharmacotherapy remains one of the greatest challenges in geriatric medicine. In this paper, the main principles of geriatric pharmacology are presented.